Day 8: Karaage
Japanese food normally seems so healthy – all that rice and fish and stuff – so if you’re craving something that tastes like it’ll give you a heart attack, karaage should be right up your alley! It is the Japanese version of Kentucky fried chicken, oozing in oil and grease and bringing with it that guilty pleasure of fried food.
The cooking method is quintessentially Japanese, though. The food is marinated in a mix of soy sauce, ginger and garlic before being battered with wheat flour or potato starch. It’s then fried in a light oil.
All sorts of food can be cooked in the karaage style – various meats and vegetables. But the most popular is chicken. It seems batter and fried chicken is something that cultures the world across discovered go perfectly together.
It’s the perfect late night snack or accompaniment for a few beers. I had my karaage the morning after a big karaoke night in Tokyo and it certainly hit the spot.
Three pieces of chicken breast karaage cost 400 yen (US$4.05) from a takeaway shop in the Asakusa area. It was sitting in the window but was heated up for me when I ordered it.